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Janet: I felt ugly when I was younger

Feb. 9, 2011 at 12:37 AM
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NEW YORK, Feb. 9 (UPI) -- U.S. pop star Janet Jackson says she never felt attractive when she was younger.

The late Michael Jackson's youngest sibling discussed her body image and self esteem in a wide-ranging interview to air this week and next on NBC's "Today" and "Dateline" programs.

Jackson taped the interview to promote her book, "True You: A Journey to Finding and Loving Yourself," which will be released Feb. 15 by Karen Hunter Publishing/Gallery Books.

Meredith Vieira asked Jackson about a quote in the book in which the singer confessed that while in her 20s she "hated what I saw in the mirror" and "would literally bang my head against the wall because I felt so ugly."

"I would literally bang my head up against the wall because I didn't feel attractive," she told Vieira. "There was a lot of pain in my life. But I did. I felt very unattractive."

Jackson said those feelings stemmed from growing up as the youngest sibling in the famous Jackson music dynasty.

"There was this picture of my sister, Rebbie. And I would always look at her picture and I thought: 'Oh Gosh, she's so beautiful. If I could only look like that when I get older. God, how gorgeous is she?' And I never ever felt attractive. And I still have issues with it. I don't bang my head up against the wall, but I still have those moments. And I think it'll probably continue but at least I know how to deal with it now. And I'm in a much better space," Jackson explained.

She also recalled how her older brothers would tease her and call her names such as "horse, pig, cow, slaughter-hog."

"It makes you laugh, it really does," she said. "I guess some people could say: 'Oh, that's, you know, brothers and sisters joking. It's all affection. It's all, you know, it's in a loving way.' But not everybody can brush it off, and I was one of those."

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